Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

Guide to the Fontana Ghost, Horror & Tales of Terror series’.

Mary Danby ‘65′ series: Jacobs-Morrison

Posted by demonik on May 25, 2007

Mary Danby 65 books

* Entries in blue have been or, hopefully, will be annotated in the Fontana section *

W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw: The Whites are entertaining Sergeant Major Morris. Morris has recently returned from India and shows them the idol in question. An old fakir had cast a spell on it because “he wanted to show how fate ruled peoples lives, and that those who interfered with it did so at their sorrow.” Those who possess the idol are reputedly granted three wishes, but Morris isn’t for putting it to the test and lobs it in the fireplace. Mr. White retrieves it and jokingly wishes for £200. The following day his son, Herbert is mutilated at the factory. His firm accept responsibility for the tragedy and offer compensation to the tune of £200. But the distraught Mrs. White just wants her boy back …

Jacobs handles this story with remarkable economy, racing to a satisfying grim conclusion. Stephen King reworked this for his ace novel Pet Sematary and – of course – there’s that EC variation, Wish You Were Here which shows up in Tales From The Crypt. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

W. W. Jacobs – The Three Sisters (Realms of Darkness)

Henry James – The Romance Of Certain Old Clothes (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

M. R. James – The Ash-Tree (65 Great Spine Chillers)

M. R. James – The Haunted Dolls’ House (Realms of Darkness)

M. R. James – Lost Hearts: Arguably James’ most conventional supernatural horror story. Aswarby Hall, Lincolnshire. 1812. After the death of his parents, eleven year old Stephen Elliott is adopted by his reclusive elderly cousin Mr. Abney, a kindly gesture but then the old scholar has a habit of taking in young waifs and strays. There was the little girl who disappeared so mysteriously – “ran off with the gypsies” most likely – and the boy with the hurdy-gurdy: nobody seems to know where he went.
The servants are good to Stephen and he’s relatively contented … until he has that unpleasant dream of a little girl’s decomposing corpse floating in the bath. And why is Mr. Abney so insistent that the boy should meet him in the study at eleven on March 12th and not a word to the servants? (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural

Jerome K. Jerome – The Dancing Partner (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Glyn Jones – Jordan (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Michael Joseph – The Yellow Cat: Mayfair. Grey, a gambler down on his luck, is pursued home by a mangy, starving cat. Despite its loathsome personality, Grey adopts it as a mascot and his fortune takes a dramatic turn for the better. First, he is visited by Felix Mortimer who presses a fiver on him for being supportive during his own struggles. The fact that Mortimer has been dead for five years gives Grey pause for concern, but the fortune he amasses at the Green Baize Club soon takes his mind off things. His downfall arrives in the shapely form of aggressive gold-digger Elise Dyer who takes umbrage at the yellow horror. Grey grabs his pet by the throat and throws it in the Prince’s Canal, thereby sealing his own doom. (Realms of Darkness)

David H. Keller – The Thing In The Cellar: From the age of three months, young Tommy Tucker has been terrified of the cellar. His parents take him to see Dr. Hawthorne who learns that the child’s fear is rooted in his belief that there’s something lurking down there. Hawthorne advises the Tuckers as to what they should do to disillusion the boy of his ridiculous fancy. (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Gerald Kersh – Carnival On The Downs (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Gerald Kersh – Comrade Death (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Stephen King – The Reaper’s Image (Realms of Darkness)

Stephen King – Suffer The Little Children (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Rudyard Kipling – The Mark Of The Beast (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Nigel Kneale – Minuke (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Nigel Kneale – The Pond (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Henry Kuttner – The Graveyard Rats (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Henry Kuttner – The Salem Horror (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Perceval Landon – Thurnley Abbey (65 Great Spine Chillers)

David Langford – Cold Spell (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Sterling E. Lanier – Soldier Key (Realms of Darkness)

J. S. Le Fanu – An Account Of Some Strange Disturbances In Aungier Street (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

J. S. Le Fanu – The Sexton’s Adventure (Realms of Darkness)

Kay Leith – Avalon Heights (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Kay Leith – For The Love Of Pamela (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Kay Leith – The Sanguivites (Realms of Darkness)

L. A. Lewis – Hybrid (Realms of Darkness)

L. A. Lewis – The Meerschaum Pipe: The narrator moves into ‘Heroney’, the former country residence of Harper who butchered several women and buried them in the surrounding fields. Or rather, parts of them:

“The most revolting feature of the murders was his habit of severing the head and limbs and leaving them on the scene for identification, while carrying away the trunk for addition to a sort of museum …”

In between visits to the Vicarage and brushing up on his golf handicap, the new squire takes to smoking Harper’s best pipe. The discovery of a gypsy girl’s mutilated remains in Arningham Woods signals a new reign of terror … (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Frank Belknap Long – The Black Druid (Realms of Darkness)

F. G. Loring – The Tomb of Sarah: Bristol. When a grave is disturbed during church renovations, the Seventeenth Century Countess revives and wanders abroad, first in the form of a huge dog, then as herself as was, a beautiful woman. She destroys several sheep and attacks a child but now a stake-wielding Priest is onto her … (Realms of Darkness)

H. P. Lovecraft – The Hound: The narrator and St. John, “wearied by the commonplace of a prosaic world where even the joys of romance and adventure soon grew stale”, enthusiastically launch themselves into a new career – as grave robbers. They set up a secret underground museum where they can gloat over their hideous finds and savour the rank stench of corruption undisturbed. Learning of a fellow ghoul five centuries buried in a Dutch churchyard, they resolve to dig him up and get their hands on the powerful amulet he stole – “the ghastly soul symbol of the corpse-eating cult of inaccessible Leng.” Within a week of their triumphant return to England they hear scratching at their windows, a faint baying as first heard when they exhumed the tomb-looter and the flapping of hordes of bat-wings. Whatever it is that seeks them attacks St. John and reduces him to a mangled corpse. The terrified narrator realises his only hope is to return the amulet ….. (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

H. P. Lovecraft – The Moon-Bog: Having made his fortune in the States, Denys Barry emigrates to Ireland, the home of his ancestors and buys the family castle in Kilderry, C. Meath. His doom is sealed when, against the pleas of the supposedly superstitious and ill-educated villagers, he makes plans to drain the bog which reputedly conceals a sunken city. The locals evacuate en masse and Barry hires outside laborers with no knowledge of the ‘curse’. On the eve of the operation the guardians of the city rise from the morass and, in emulation of the Pied-Piper, lead the party into the bog where they’re transformed into hideous frog creatures. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

H. P. Lovecraft – The Rats In The Walls (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Lord Lytton – The Haunted And The Haunters (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Philip MacDonald – Our Feathered Friends (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Agnes MacLeod – The Skeleton Hand (Realms of Darkness)

Roger Malisson – A Fair Lady: Police sergeant Jack Merrill moves from London home to sleepy Hobston village, North Yorkshire, with his young family after serving nearly two decades in the city. His investigation into the disappearance of a pretty young hippy hitch-hiker unearths disturbing evidence of a Druid cult presided over by his severe head mistress. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Roger Malisson – The Thirteenth Kestrel (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Frederick Marryat – The Werewolf (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Joyce Marsh – The Master Of Blas Gwynedd (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Richard Matheson – Deadline: Dr. Bill leaves the New Years Eve bash and his heavily pregnant wife to answer an emergency call. An “old man” in a boarding home claims he will die on the stroke of midnight. The doctor hears out his strange tale of ‘precocious youth’ and the patient’s theory as to why he looks like this when, in reality, he’s just approaching his first birthday. Sure enough, he passes away at twelve, and the doctor becomes a father at the same time. (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Richard Matheson – No Such Thing As A Vampire: The people of Solta, a village in the Romanian mountains, are in the habit of painting crosses on their doors and gathering garlic bulbs to ward off the undead, so when Madame Alexis Gheria wakes to find her nightdress shredded and blood seeping from her throat, they know what they’re up against. Dr. Gheria is devotion personified, keeping vigil at his wife’s bedside through the night but still the attacks continue. Karel, the devoted old butler, explains to his master that this is undoubtably due to his having been drugged by the vampire’s “mephitic presence” and assures him that, when the guilty party has been identified, he’ll do what needs to be done – just as Gheria hoped he would. He now consults his young colleague and “dearest friend” Dr. Vares who needs little persuasion to tend the woman with whom he had an affair during the summer … (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Norman Matson – The House On Big Faraway (65 Great Spine Chillers)

W. Somerset Maugham – The Man from Glasgow (Realms of Darkness)

Guy de Maupassant – The Hand (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Guy de Maupassant – The Hostelry (Realms of Darkness)

Guy de Maupassant – Who Knows? (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Daphne du Maurier – The Apple Tree (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Edmund Mitchell – The Phantom of the Lake (Realms of Darkness)

Arthur Morrison – The Thing in the Upper Room (Realms of Darkness)

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